Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 January 2022), September 1884, trial of SAMUEL HOWSHIP BARROW (t18840915-917).

SAMUEL HOWSHIP BARROW, Deception > forgery, 15th September 1884.

917. SAMUEL HOWSHIP BARROW , Unlawfully forging and uttering a certificate of identity, to obtain a passport, with intent to defraud.


FREDERICK GEORGE MAXIMILIAN DE BERNHARDT . I am a clerk in the Foreign Office—it is my duty to attend to the issuing of passports—before a passport is granted it is necessary that there should be a certificate signed by a merchant, banker, doctor, solicitor, or clergyman, stating that the person requiring it is a British subject—on 27th July these two applications, dated 26th July, were brought to me. (These certified that George Berman and James Gibson were British subjects, and first signed Samuel Howship Barrow.) I saw the prisoner the same day, and he said that he had called for the passports of Borman and Gibson—I looked at the application and went to consult the chief clerk, and then, seeing my hesitation, he said "It is all right, I recommend them"—I asked him who they were—he said "They are not gentlemen"—I made out these two passports and handed them to him—on 31st July I received this other application, and forwarded it to Scotland Yard—the prisoner called on me the same day and asked for the passport for Carlton Carlton—I said that I had only received the application that day, and it proposed to be called for next day; I wanted 24 hours' notice"—he came again on 2nd August, and I told him I could not grant the passport, because the address given was not correct—he said that the address was—quite correct, the house belonged to Mr. Carlton's mother—I declined to grant a passport, and he left.

Cross-examined. In Russia, Turkey, and Roumania a passport is in dispensable—you must have a passport in Belgium, or anywhere, if you wish to reside—I have been at the Foreign Office 26 years—you have been free to travel in France since 1860—passports are not abolished in Switzerland—I have never travelled on the Continent without a passport.

Re-examined. The price of a passport is 2s. 6d., and if a man is in trouble he takes it to the Embassy.

JOHN SEYMOUR FOWLER . I am a solicitor, of Dowgate Hill—I know the prisoner, he was formerly a solicitor, and had access to my office—these three certificates are written on my note-paper with my printed heading, and to the best of my belief they are in tine prisoner's writing—I have seen him write—they were not signed with my consent, or by my authority or knowledge—I know Borman, but I do not know Carlton Carlton or James Gibson; they never requested me to obtain passports for them.

Cross-examined. I have another office at 23, High Street, Borough—I have known the prisoner six years—he was clerk to Mr. Waring, the solicitor to the Legal Protection Society—he never acted as my clerk—I have

two clerks, one of them, Mr. Fulford, has been in my service 10 years—he does not pay so much a week for the use of my office at Dowgate Hill; I pay the rent to Dyer's Hall Company—the prisoner was not also allowed to use my office—he has not been in the habit of acting as my clerk—he does not sit in a room and copy, he uses no room at all—he has not written letters there that I know of—I have done business for him, but he has not attended to it as my clerk—this (produced) is Mr. Fulford's writing; I do not allow him to sign my name—it was not arranged that fire guineas were to be paid to the prisoner for the costs of this, nor that we should divide the five guineas—I have received it; I promised to give him something out of it, but I have not done so, as I do not consider now that I should—these passports were brought to my knowledge the day before Bank Holiday, when Mr. Forbridge called on me and produced the documents, and asked if the signatures were mine—I said they were not—he never mentioned the five guineas—I was asked to prosecute, and said that I did not care about giving the man in custody; I knew he had a family, and I said that the authorities might prosecute him it' they chose—I do not think he was under the idea that he might sign my name—I think I received the five guineas on the day he was taken in custody—I did not tell him so at the police-court—I have seen these letters to the drawer of the cheque—my second clerk is an office-boy—I have no clerk named Gosling—Mr. Gosling is an accountant, and has some portion of my office—I do not know that he has been convicted—I have two officer, and have also an interest in a business in Liverpool—I left there when I got married, and came to London—I did not get into a difficulty there about a stopped cheque.

Re-examined. I am friendly disposed towards the prisoner; I have known him ever since I have been in London.

GEORGE BORMAN . I am secretary to the Creditors' Protection Association, 23, High Street, Borough—this is not my signature—I know nothing whatever about it—I did not authorise Mr. Barrow to apply for a passport—I am not a commercial traveller—I know nothing about the application, and never saw the passport—the prisoner knew me by name, and has known my address for 20 years.

Cross-examined. It is a Limited Company—Mr. Edwards is practically the proprietor of it—he has a son and a nephew articled to Mr. Fowler—we issue county Court summonses there in Mr. Fowler's name—I have never signed them—a large number are issued every year—I think I can safely say that Mr. Barrow has not issued any in Mr. Fowler's name—he has not used the office at all—I have known him 25 years,—he was a clerk there to Mr. Waring, a former solicitor, but I do not think he was ever clerk to Mr. Fowler.

Re-examined. I did not intend to travel abroad.

FRANCES MCDOWELL . I have been housekeeper at Devonshire Chambers for the last 12 months—there is nobody there named James Gibbons.

Cross-examined. There are 40 or 50 tenants—I do not know all their clerks' names.

JOHN TONBRIDGE (Police Inspector). I have tried to find Carlton and Gibson and cannot—on 2nd August the prisoner was brought to Scotland Yard Station and detained while inquiries were made—I spoke to him about this passport, and he made this statement—I took it down. (Read:

"Daughter resides at Doddlestone, Plynlimmon Road. Hastiags; one son, Mr. Aubrey Barrow, lives at Lower Richmond Road, sheen; another, Mr. H. A. Barrow, lives at Whitton, Hounslow, has offices at Temple Chambers, Fleet Street, and is editor of the Cyclist. Aubrey is employed at the Legal and Mercantile Creditors' Protection Association, 28, Borough High Street. I wrote the letters to the Foreign Office, but Mr. Fowler knows all about it. James Gibson is a commercial traveller in the fancy line. I met him one day in the Four Swans Royal Hotel, Bishopsgate, when he said he was going abroad, to Germany, I think, and asked me to get him a passport. I wrote the letter and he signed it, and after getting the passport I handed it to him at the Four swans. Gibson is a short, stoutish, good-looking man; I knew him when I had offices as a solicitor in Devonshire Chambers. I cannot say in what part of the Chambers his offices are situated. One of the clerks from 23, Borough High Street, came into the Globe, Borough Market, when I was there, they all use that house, and said 'George' (meaning Borman), who is secretary to the Legal and Mercantile Creditors' Protection Association, was going abroad, and wanted a passport. I said 'Oh, I will get him one.' I went to Mr. Fowler's office in Dowgate Hill and wrote the letter, and left it with the head barman at the Globe for Borman to sign when he came in called for it a day or two afterwards, when I found it signed. After I got the passport I left it at the Globe with the head barman for him to hand to George; the clerk, I don't remember which one it was asked me, paid me the money for it; I only charged him the 2s. I paid for it. Carlton Carlton I have known from childhood; he lives at 17, Russell Road, Kensington. I was present at his sister's wedding; I don't think it is so long ago as November,' 1882. I am a trustee to one of them. I met him at the Cannon Street Station on the day the letter is dated, and he said he was going to Italy and required a passport. I said 'I will get you one,' and I went into Dowgate Hill and wrote out the application while he waited at the station; he signed it on my re-turn. If I had obtained the passport I should have posted it off to 17, Russell Road, as I thought he still resided there. I Know they hare a country house near Chester somewhere. I shall be staying at my daughter's for the next few days, and you can always find out where I am from her, or from one of my sons. People apply to me to get them passports because I am so well known; they call me the 'Walking Directory.' I don't do anything for a living, I have enough to live on without doing any work.")

Cross-examined. I do not suppose he could have gone away if he had chosen—I did not think it was a Nihilist plot—I said to the prisoner "You won't be detained now, but we want to know where we can find you; what is your explanation about this?"—he told us where he could be found, but we did not go there—it might be true.

GEORGE PEARCE OXLEY . I am chief barman at the Globe, Borough Market; I was so in July—I know the prisoner by sight—he did not leave a certificate with me said to be signed by George Borman, nor did I hand it back to him.

Cross-examined. There are two other barmen—we give orders to them to take nothing in, and they would not take it in.

EMMA SHILLING . I have lived at 17, Russell Road, Kensington since November, 1882—no such person as Carlton Carlton lived there last July

—Mrs. Hankey, my mistress, is an independent lady; she bought the house of Mrs. Carlton, and has lived there the whole of the time I have been there.

Cross-examined. A letter arrived there three weeks ago, and I returned it—Mrs. Carlton removed in 1878.

JOHN SMITH (Policeman). On 21st August I saw the prisoner at the Four Swans, Bishopsgate Street—I told him I held a warrant for his arrest and read it to him—he made no reply—I had seen him early in August, when inquiries were made.

Cross-examined. I saw him at the Foreign Office—Inspector Tonbridge gave me information—my impression was that the passports were to be used for an unlawful purpose, but not for Nihilists.

MR. PEACOCK submitted that there was no proof of any intent to defraud, or that any person could be defrauded, as the Foreign Office had received their fee. There might be an attempt to deceive, but not to commit a particular fraud or a specific wrong. (See Stephen's Digest, p. 288.) MR. POLAND stated that the indictment charged an intent to prejudice, injure, defraud, or deceise, and referred to Reg v. Toshack, 2nd Dennison: the forgery consisted in obtaining something which was to be put of as a genuine document for as improper purpose. The RECORDER, having consulted MR. JUSTICE HAWKINS, ruled that there was evidence of an intention to defraud.

GUILTY .— Two Months' Imprisonment.